Noth­ing less, love is the best

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I know all the ad­vice about in­vest­ing in prop­erty, whether you in­tend to live in it or not, is to avoid get­ting emo­tional.

But if it wasn’t for the emo­tional at­tach­ment we form to bricks and mor­tar, I doubt whether so many homes would be as beau­ti­ful as they are.

I’ve been watch­ing our neigh­bours try­ing to breathe life back into an old house that had been ne­glected for so long, I thought there was lit­tle op­tion but to de­mol­ish it.

Each week­end they turn up, armed with power tools and a packed lunch and launch them­selves at the var­i­ous tasks with en­ergy and good hu­mour.

And slowly, the place has gone from an “en­ter at your own risk” can­di­date for the bull­dozer to the grand old dame that has been sleep­ing for so long.

With half of Syd­ney un­der con­struc­tion at the mo­ment, I must ad­mit lis­ten­ing to power tools run­ning into Satur­day af­ter­noon started to get to me one week­end and I popped around to see how much longer they ex­pected to con­tinue.

Af­ter apol­o­gis­ing for the noise, they were keen to show me their progress so far and, against my bet­ter judg­ment, I found my­self fall­ing for their old house.

Where the floors had more bounce than a tram­po­line, the foun­da­tions had been res­tumped. Where cracks large enough to get a maxed-out credit card into had been, the walls have been re­paired, smoothed over and painted.

As each room re­vealed its charms, our neigh­bours ran through what their plans were, their faces light­ing up with ideas for tim­ber win­dows and tra­di­tional ceil­ing roses.

And while there’s value in bring­ing a house up to a com­fort­able state, it’s hard to see why you would go to so much time and ef­fort un­less you loved the place.

So much for emo­tional de­tach­ment.

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